Category Archives: @TheBigHurt_35

TODAY IN SOX HISTORY … MUSSOLINI, SWEEPS, NO. 400 FOR FRANK AND MORE!

Frank Thomas takes a curtain call after hitting his 400th homer on this date in 2003 (screen shot).

My dad’s birth in 1930 wasn’t the only eventful moment in White Sox history that happened on this date.

Take a look …

1937, THE STRATTON SPLIT: The White Sox split a doubleheader with the Yankees before 50,000 at Comiskey Park. The Yankees took the opener 12-11 behind two homers from Bill Dickey and a game-winner from Joe DiMaggio. The Sox took the nightcap scoring three in the eighth and one in the ninth with Monty Stratton, who was later portrayed in a movie by Jimmy Stewart, getting the victory.

1943, A WIN AND THEN SOME GOOD NEWS: After the White Sox won the first game 2-1, the nightcap of their doubleheader was interrupted with the announcement at “Mussolini has resigned.” The crowd of 19,374 cheered wildly over the news that the Italian dictator was finished. The Yankees won the game 6-3 after Bill Dietrich got the victory for the Sox in Game 1.1954, 16 Ks SO HE WAS HARSH, MAN: Jack Harshman set the club record with 16 strikeouts in the White Sox 5-2 win in the first game of a doubleheader sweep at Boston. Harshman gave up two runs on five hits and five walks in improving to 7-4. Harshman, a lefty, broke the record previously held by Ed Cicotte (Aug. 26, 1914), Jim Scott (June 22, 1913) and Ed Walsh (Aug. 11, 1910 and Oct. 2, 1908). He struck out at least one batter in every inning but the eighth and he whiffed the side in order in the second and seventh innings and also in the fourth.

1959, 17 INNINGS! The White Sox edged the Baltimore Orioles 3-2 in 17 innings before 12,562 at Comiskey Park thanks to an RBI single by the oft-traded Harry “Suitcase” Simpson. Sherm Lollar tied the game with a homer to leadoff the ninth.

1967, TWO WALKOFFS: J.C. Martin and Ken Berry each hit walkoff homers to key the first-place White Sox to a doubleheader sweep of Cleveland before 18,152 at Comiskey Park. This marked the first time in American League history a team had swept a doubleheader with a pair of game-ending home runs.

1971, UP ON THE ROOF: White Sox catcher Tom Egan launched his only roof-shot homer at Comiskey Park in the second game of a doubleheader sweep of Washington before 24,318 on the South Side.

1972, ALL-STAR ALLEN: Dick Allen started at first base in becoming the first Sox representative to bat cleanup in an All-Star Game. Allen went 0-for-3 in the American League’s 4-3 loss in in Atlanta.

1987, NOs. 16 & 19 FOREVER: On the day No. 16 was retired for Hall of Famer Ted Lyons and No. 19 was retired for team legened Billy Pierce, the White Sox topped the Yankees 3-2 before 26,433 at Comiskey Park.

1996, DOMINANT ROBERTO: Roberto Hernandez turned in one of the most dominating performances by a Sox reliever in recent memory in a 4-3 loss to the Texas Rangers in 12 innings before 19,524 at Comiskey Park. Hernandez came on in the ninth and fanned all six of the batters he faced, falling one K shy of the club record. Hernandez threw 26 pitches, 19 of which were strikes.

1998, THE BOMB IN THE BRONX: Mike Sirotka disappointed an Old-Timers’ Day crowd of 55,638 at Yankee Stadium with six strong innings in the White Sox 6-2 win. This was the largest gathering to witness a Sox win since Oct. 3, 1993 when 72,390 watched the Southsiders defeat the Indians in Cleveland.

2001, NO. 8,000: Paul Konerko launched the 8,000th home run in White Sox history in a 7-5 loss at Cleveland. Konerko’s milestone blast came in the second inning.

2003, NO. 400 FOR FRANK: Frank Thomas’ 400th homer helped the White Sox stomp Tampa Bay 7-2 before 22,617 at US Cellular Field. Thomas became the 36th player in big league history to reach that milestone. Esteban Loaiza earned his 13th win and Carlos Lee also homered in the victory.

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COUNTDOWN TO WHITE SOX OPENING DAY: 10 DAYS

10 days to Opening Day, White Sox fans!

Let’s hope Yoan Moncada No. 10 Sox jerseys are as prevalent as Thomas’ 35 or Konerko’s 14 one day.

COUNTDOWN TO WHITE SOX OPENING DAY: 53 DAYS

53 days to White Sox Opening Day!

Hit No. 53 in Frank Thomas’ career led to save No. 53 of 1990 for Bobby Thigpen.

On Sept. 23, 1990, “Big Frank’s” fifth homer — career hit No. 53 — gave the Sox lead for good in the eighth inning of a 2-1 win at Seattle.

After rookie Alex Fernandez (making his 11th big league start following his drafting in June) got through the eighth, Thigpen capped a scoreless ninth by fanning Ken Griffey Jr. to notch his 53rd of 57 saves during that magical renaissance season of 1990.

COUNTDOWN TO WHITE SOX OPENING DAYS: 58 DAYS

58 days until White Sox Opening Day!

Hit No. 58 of Frank Thomas’ Hall of Fame career was the final White Sox home run at Comiskey Park.

On Sept. 28, 1990, “The Big Hurt” went deep off Randy Johnson in the seventh inning in Seattle’s 13-4 win before 37,662 fans in the first game of the final series at the old park.

COUNTDOWN TO WHITE SOX OPENING DAY: 93 DAYS!

93 days until Opening Day, White Six fans!

Home run No. 93 of Frank Thomas’ Hall of Fame career may have been his most dramatic of the Sox ‘93 West Division title season.

On Aug. 13, Frank’s two-run home run in the eighth inning lifted the Sox to a 5-4 come-from-behind win over Kansas City before a jacked up gathering of 34,272 at Comiskey Park.

After Steve Sax fired up the crowd with three sparkling plays at second base in the top of the inning, Ron Karkovice ignited the rally with a double and then scored on Warren Newson’s pinch single. Thomas then sent a 1-0 pitch by Royals’ closer Jeff Montgomery into the left-field bleachers.

The victory enabled the Sox to open a 3.5-game lead over the Royals in the A.L. West.

WAY BACK WEDNESDAY: OTD IN 2000 FRANK GETS ROBBED

It all seems so tainted now, doesn’t it?

On this date in 2000, White Sox designated hitter Frank Thomas finished second in the American League MVP voting to Oakland’s Jason Giambi in results released by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Giambi polled 317 points while Thomas had 285 in falling short of his third MVP Award.

Thomas was the driving force behind the Sox surprising run to the American League Central crown, hitting .328 with a career-high 43 homers and 143 RBIs.

Giambi hit .333 with 43 homers and 137 RBIs.

In hindsight, these results look like a joke because Giambi is an admitted steroid user.

Frank, on the other hand, publicly railed against steroid use.

One of the complaints levied against Frank throughout his career was that he didn’t smile enough or seen happy.

Can you blame him?

During his career, Thomas watched players of lesser talent who were suspected users grab headlines, records and accolades while he just did his thing year after year.

Frank did get a chance to vent in 2005 when he testified before Congress.

He concluded his statement by saying: “I have been a major league ballplayer for 15 years. Throughout my career, I have not used steroids. Ever.”

Compare that to what you recall Giambi saying about the subject.

Frank also had the last laugh in Cooperstown in 2014.

Also in the 2000 voting, White Sox right fielder Magglio Ordonez finished 12th after hitting .315 with 32 homers.

This marked the first time since 1994, when Thomas finished first, Julio Franco finsiehd eighth and Jason Bere finished 23rd that the Sox had more than one player receive votes for this award.